Tech & Work

There are no hiring shortcuts

As a hiring manager, do you depend on superstition and dubious statistics to help you choose the right person?

David Wagner wrote a good story for InformationWeek about the strange hiring criteria some countries and companies use. For example, there are companies in China and Australia that will only hire people born under certain zodiac signs. In Japan, it is common to factor blood type into hiring decisions, based on the belief that blood types determine personality. Xerox believes its ideal call center candidate would be someone who uses more than one social network but fewer than four.

Wagner talks about how Big Data may someday soon influence hiring more than we'd like and in ways that are a little unquestionable. He quotes one statistic that says that people who live within 10 minutes of the office are 20 percent likelier to stay at a job at least six months than those who live 45 minutes away.

I'm not sure if people are turning to these types of things because they don't want to do the work involved in making a hire, or if they're just so terrified that they'll make a bad hire that they lean on superstitions to give them more confidence.

Of all the factors that don't bode well for corporations, this may be one of the scariest. If hiring managers don't have the instinct or knowhow to find the right talent, then why are they hiring managers?

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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